TIFFIN – 5068 days. That is how long it has been since the Heidelberg University women's basketball team has defeated Wilmington. On Tuesday, the Student Princes made a statement and ended that streak with a decisive 84-67 victory over the Quakers. Five different players for the Berg scored in double figures as they built a large first-half lead, holding off multiple attempts at a rally by Wilmington in the second period.
Senior Paige Ricketts scored a game-high 18 points, doing most of her damage from the free throw line. She knocked down 10-of-14 from the charity stripe to help Heidelberg hold off the Quakers late in the game, also dishing out four assists in the win.
Carli Patrick continued her recent tear, scoring 11 points while pulling down 12 boards for her eighth double-double in her past nine games. She was defended closely by the Quakers throughout, but opportunistic rebounding put her in positions to score as the game wore on.
Sophomore Theresa Jackson scored 14 points off the bench, shooting 7-of-14 from the floor while also recording a team-high three steals.
The Student Princes knocked down 6-of-11 (54.5%) from behind the 3-point line in the first half as they soared out to a 12-point halftime advantage, leading by as many as 18 in the period.
Heidelberg forced Wilmington into 10 second half turnovers, stifling any comeback attempt by Wilmington.
The Berg shot 54.8% in the first half compared to just 32.3% for the visiting Quakers.
Wilmington got on the board first, taking their only lead of the game after Ashely Andracki drilled a 3-pointer at the 19:18 mark.
Heidelberg responded with a 10-0 run which included a pair of treys from Allie Hawkins.
The Student Princes built their lead out to 14 points after Jackie Abrecht knocked down a 3-pointer with 10:22 to play.
The Quakers were able to cut the deficit to just six at the 6:21 mark, but Heidelberg responded, pushing their lead to 18 after Marisa Liburdi converted an old-fashioned 3-point play with 1:28 remaining.
A layup by Alexandria Kingsbery for the Quakers made the Heidelberg lead 12 entering halftime.
Wilmington got off to a quick start in the second period, cutting the Heidelberg lead to just four after Courtney Tucker made a layup with 16:50 to play.
A 7-0 run by the Berg capped off by another hoop-and-harm by Liburdi stretched the lead back to 12 at the 11:51 mark.
The Student Princes were able to maintain a comfortable advantage the rest of the way, keeping a double-digit lead the final six minutes of the ball game to earn the victory.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
This game was the fourth for Heidelberg in the last eight days, going 3-1 over that stretch.
The last win for a Heidelberg women's basketball team over Wilmington was almost 14 years ago, coming on February 20, 2001.
Patrick continues to dominate on the boards, leading the OAC in rebounding by a margin of almost five per game.
Head coach Morgan Shriver on her team's development: "We're finally where we thought we could be at the beginning of the year and we got here by working together. We are playing with confidence and coming in expecting to win, not hoping to win."
Shriver on having five in double figures: "When you're scouting a team and you have four players averaging over 10, that's a tough way to scout a team ... I love that balance and the confidence our girls have in one another."
Shriver on winning three straight conference games: "The whole year, we've talked about being ready for conference play ... our non-conference opponents were much tougher this year, so we didn't expect to be undefeated, which was good for us. We've started to play the conference games and we've been better prepared for the grind."
Sophomore forward Carli Patrick on her success scoring and rebounding: "I take pride in rebounding and my rebounding fuels my offensive energy."
Patrick on breaking the streak against Wilmington: "I was six years old the last time we beat them ... It feels awesome to get a win against a great team and a well-coached team."
Heidelberg will be back in action on Saturday, January 10, when they face Otterbein for another conference contest. That game is scheduled to tip-off at 3:00 p.m. in Seiberling Gymnasium.